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City to mull municipal historic resource designation for old courthouse

The city will take a closer look at a request by the Peace County Historical Society to label the old Grande Prairie Courthouse as a site of municipal historic resource.

The building, which now houses the Grande Prairie Centre for Creative Arts, was first opened in 1957, is of major historical significance in the city. Dr. David Leonard, a retired director of the Alberta Historic Sites Service, says it accommodated the sittings of Supreme, District, Provincial, Municipal, Small Claims, Family Court, and Probate Courts for nearly 30 years.

Dr. Leonard suggests that while a municipal designation hasn’t been used in the City of Grande Prairie before, the precedent is set in neighbouring municipalities.

“Sexsmith has two buildings, the blacksmith shop and train station that are designated as provincial historical resources, the grain elevator would have been. There are a couple of residences, the Innes House, and the Anglican Church, have been designated as municipal resources, as well as the old 1912 Sexsmith Grocery store,” he says.

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“Three sites in Sexsmith designated as municipal resources, and the two, arguably three others designated as a provincial resource.”

The report from administration will make its way back to the Community Services Committee for a vote, and if passed, would then be debated and voted on by all members of council before any designation is made.

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